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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 9, 2020 2:00am-2:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news — my name is mike embley. our top stories: the entire senior police leadership for a city in new york state resigns — over the death of a black man in custody. wildfires in washington state wipe out an entire town as strong winds fan out—of—control flames. one of the leading opposition activists in belarus rips up her passport to avoid being expelled from the country as the president insists he's not stepping down. as fears rise of another global spike in covid cases, the uk announces it will ban gatherings of more than six people. south african athlete caster semenya loses her court appeal against the restriction of testosterone levels in female runners.
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the entire senior police leadership for the city of rochester in new york state has resigned, in the aftermath of the death of a black man in police custody. rochester‘s police chief and other senior commanders have been under intense scrutiny since news of the death of daniel prude became public last week, sparking protests. our north america correspondent peter bowes, explains the circumstances surrounding his death. this happened back in march when daniel prude was known to have mental health issues. he was arrested by police, he was naked in the street at the time. during the course of the arrest the police used what is known as a spit hood, a device, a hood put over a suspect‘s head to protect police officers
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from the saliva of a suspect. this was put into place and his head was then forced onto the ground and shortly after that point he lost consciousness. he died in hospital one week later and according to the autopsy report he died of complications of asphyxia. as i say, this happened in march but has only, to light over the past week after members of the family got body camera footage from police officers and made that public. and that has led to the allegation that the police were in some way trying to cover up what happened and that is the central allegation which the now—resigned police chief now objects to. such a strong consequence of a death in custody and there have been so many deaths in police custody. it is always tempting to draw lessons from the particular.
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does this have meaning for the rest of the country? there is still a long way to go on this. there is still an investigation under way. the seven police officers who were involved in this were suspended, and their future is pending an investigation which is ongoing. protesters have gathered, several nights in a row since that footage was released and they have been demanding, they have been demanding justice for daniel prude and changes in the way that police operate and dealing with people with mental health issues. of course those are some of the issues that on a national basis are of concern for many people, how police interact with suspect and this was an african—american man and this happened before the george floyd arrest which was quite similar circumstances. strong wind has fanned out of
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control fires. firefighters in california are battling to bring fires under control. a small town in washington has been completely destroyed. the charred remains of the post office from maldon‘s 300 residents in rural whitman county, the local sheriff says the community has been changed for a lifetime. across the state of washington, an estimated 330,000 acres burned injust21i hours, estimated 330,000 acres burned in just 2a hours, described by the state's governor is an unprecedented and hard raking event. 0n the west coast, wildfire emergency has been declared in oregon where falling trees knocked powerlines and ignited fires, strong winds swept far and wide to the growing impact of climate change it is likely that this once in a generation wind event in areas not typically at high risk for wildfire will become more
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common. in while, the largest of the wildfires, california's creek fire remains dangerously uncontained. is no doubt the state is in the grip of a crisis. in wildfires last year, officials say 118,000 acres we re officials say 118,000 acres were burnt. so far this year it is 2.3 million, with no end in sight. but with thousands of firefighters working all hours, there are moments of hope. the coastguard rescued these hikers after they were stranded for several days in hard to reach areas. most operations have occurred at night. the pilots describe the scenes so with the night vision they can see the embers and the silhouette of the terrain so they can safely land atan the terrain so they can safely land at an evacuation site and get the evacuees and get them out. people are remarkable in these moments and selfless in these moments and selfless in
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these moments and these weather conditions are challenging and these wind conditions, in particular, will make the next few days most challenging, perhaps. that we have had so far this year. after a heat wave in santa monica with los angeles county reporting its highest ever temperature of 121 fahrenheit, temperatures have dropped. at high wind is expected to fan the flames as the west coast remains on high alert. governments in europe and asia are grappling with a surge in coronavirus infections, and struggling to gain control. in the past couple of hours the british government has announced new rules on social gatherings in england to take effect from monday. only six people will be allowed to meet indoors or outside. the full details will be outlined by the prime minister borisjohnson on wednesday but here's out political —— our political correspondent nick eardley i think it reflects a real concern in government and amongst the scientific experts who advise ministers at the number of cases we have seen in recent days, that rise in the number of
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positive tests for coronavirus that we have been talking so much about. clearly part of the concern is that we are meeting too many people, that there are too many social interactions, some of which are leading to transmission of the virus. it is not designed to stop people going to work. it is not designed to stop kids going to school orfor universities to stop opening. it is designed to stop us meeting indoors or meeting outdoors. so there is a big headline figure will be that the indoors or outdoors, the limit will be six. that changes the rules onto households meetings for example. at the moment, two households can meet, no matter what the size. the guidelines at the moment say that if you are meeting up outdoors, it can be six people from as many households if you want but that limit is six. that is now been brought into law and that is partly because police were concerned and they relayed these concerns
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to downing street that the rules were not simple enough and that it wasn't easy enough to intervene where large groups under 30, which had been the legal limit, to intervene when those groups were meeting up in various places. but as i said, itjust shows that ministers are increasingly worried about transmission of the virus. a major trial of a vaccine candidate developed by oxford university and astrazeneca has been put on hold worldwide because of a suspected serious adverse reaction in a volunteer in the uk. there'll now be an independent investigation to review safety data before a decision on whether the trial can resume. this is the second time the trial has been put on hold, and according to the oxford team it is routine for major trials — it happens any time a volunteer is admitted to hospital and the cause of their illness is not immediately known. it's reported that one of the leading opposition figures in belarus, maria kolesnikova, has prevented officials deporting her to neighbouring ukraine by ripping up her passport on the border and throwing it out the window
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of an official car. there've been protests against the government for the past month, since the disputed elections at the beginning of august. jonah fisher has more from kyiv. this began on monday morning. maria kolesnikova was picked up by an unmarked vehicle, by masked men in minsk yesterday. two other opposition figures were also picked up that day. they were then taken to the border where belarus borders ukraine and authorities were trying to make her cross the border, effectively force them into exile in ukraine. these three people were brought together in no man's land and it was there that maria kolesnikova made it very clear that she did not want to cross into ukraine. now one of the two men who did cross into ukraine was there in no man's land at the time and i spoke to him
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about what happened. at that moment maria was put into the car. she literally tore her passport into small pieces. so as they gave her back her passport? exactly. it was in the car and she immediately took it and tore it up and then she climbed out through the rear window and walked into belarusian territory. this was in no man's land and it was fantastic what she did. she was very very clear with them that she did not want to be forced into the ukraine? she tore her passport up, so she wanted to seem absolutely clear. we understand that maria kolesnikova was taken back into custody by the authorities and is now being held inside belarus at a camp not farfrom the ukrainian border. will this have any impact on the large demonstrations
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that we have seen in belarus over the last 11.5 weeks since the election? i doubt that and the reason for that is because these are decentralised protests, they have been co—ordinated through social messaging apps, through the telegram channel and if anything i think it is likely that this sort of thing is further evidence, if you like, of the brutality and violence of president lukashenko's government and that will serve to motivate more people to come out onto the streets and more people to call for him to go. the other important development comes from belarusian president alexander lu kashenko — he's said he won't step down after weeks of protests. that bit we could have predicted, but according to russian media he hasn't ruled out an early election. this is what he said in a russian television interview. "i won't leave just like that. i've been developing belarus for a quarter of a century. i'm not going to simply
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throw all that way. what's more, if i go, my supporters will be slaughtered." michael kennedy is a professor of sociology at brown university. he has spent a large part of his career looking at social movements in eastern europe and this has given him a large network of contacts in belarus. what do you make of what the president has been saying?m is not surprising to hear lukashenko talk like that. like many authoritarians, he equates himself with the nation but he is also perhaps more worried than he has ever been. he is going to see vladimir putin on friday and will probably make his case thereabout why vladimir putin needs him full up vladimir putin needs him full up he is smart and i think you will see that lukashenko is not exactly the best ally in these times. there is a suspicion
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that what russia is planning is a kind of soft annexation, something dressed up as change and there may indeed remove lukashenko but and there may indeed remove lu kashenko but it and there may indeed remove lukashenko but it will mean that russia takes over, not something that protesters want at all. exactly. what's quite explicit about this worry and i think my informant is right. putin is also smart. he made the mistake in 2014 in allowing janne covid to stand and they fled and putin lost control of ukraine. now he wants control over the whole of belarus. what do you think is the most likely outcome? likely outcome. next friday let me putin and lukashenko will meet. that is the most likely outcome. but we need to think in the long—term. visual the long—term is that
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lukashenko is done, the question is when and how. i think it is possible that there could be violent confrontation and infact could be violent confrontation and in fact lukashenko is trying to keep his grip on power, after having failed to intimidate civil society he is 110w intimidate civil society he is now trying to frighten his own security forces by saying that they will be massacred will stop of course that is ridiculous. especially if the security forces wind up joining the democratic transition to thatis the democratic transition to that is the best outcome for eve ryo ne that is the best outcome for everyone and we saw it in poland in 1989 and in other places. some kind of democratic legitimacy that lukashenko, regardless of his plans, can't destroy. i know you have good contacts within the country and there has been reaction to what maria kolesnikova is reported to have done on the border. how concerned should everyone be for her personal safety now?
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very concerned. and i think thatis very concerned. and i think that is why so many people are out there protesting right now and they will continue. 0ne thing is very clear, to the extent that lukashenko and his troops wind up treating the democratic opposition in this fashion, there will be more and more maria kolesnikovas and thatis more maria kolesnikovas and that is what lukashenko fears. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: a senior british politician admits in parliament that government plans to change the brexit agreement would break international law. george w bush: freedom itself was attacked this morning, and freedom will be defended. the united states will hunt down and punish those responsible.
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bishop tutu now becomes spiritual leader of 100,000 anglicans here, of the blacks in soweto township, as well as the whites in their rich suburbs. we say to you today in a loud and a clear voice "enough of blood and tears. enough!" translation: the difficult decision we reached together was one that required great and exceptional courage. it's an exodus of up to 60,000 people caused by the uneven pace of political change in eastern europe. iam free! this is bbc news — the latest headlines: the entire senior police leadership for a city
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in new york state resigns following the death of a black man in custody. wildfires in washington state wipe out an entire town as strong winds fan out of control flames. the british prime ministers new bill to change the uk's brexit deal with the eu will break international law according to one cabinet minister. the northern ireland secretary brandon lewis admitted the new legislation would go against the treaty in a specific and limited way. the former prime minister theresa may has warned the changes could damage trust in the uk over future trade deals. the latest round of trade negotiations between britain and the eu started today as our chief political correspondent vicki young reports. mrjohnson, are we going to get a deal today? are you confident?
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he promised to get brexit done, and the uk has left the eu, but now borisjohnson‘s team is in a familiar place — trying to negotiate another deal. this time, it's about how we will trade with the eu from january. progress is slow, but round eight of the talks started today. i am confident that our negotiating teams and the eu negotiating teams are all focused on getting a good outcome, both for our friends and partners in the eu, and for us in the united kingdom. but there's another row brewing over the withdrawal agreement. yes, the one which has already been signed, sealed and delivered. it agreed that northern ireland would continue to follow some eu customs rules. that would mean extra paperwork, checks and tariffs for some goods moving between great britain and northern ireland. now the government is introducing its own law, so that uk ministers can decide how to apply the rules without the eu's agreement. the disapproval from this former prime minister was obvious. the government is now
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changing the operation of that agreement. given that, how can the government reassure future international partners that the uk can be trusted to abide by the legal obligations of the agreements it signs? another conservative mp got this remarkable admission from the minister. yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way. that's not the kind of thing you hear very often in the house of commons. and he's not the only one who is surprised. the labour leader told me that the government should not be acting in this way. at the moment, what the government is doing, which in my view is wrong, is reopening old arguments that have been settled. a deal is there to be had. let's negotiate, get that deal. that's what the public want, and move on. ministers insist the new law they want to introduce simply clarifies what was agreed with the eu last year, it doesn't rip it up completely. but even the government's top lawyer doesn't see it like that. he's resigned today because he thinks the plans are in breach of the government's obligations under international law. eu and uk officials will
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continue their talks tomorrow, with the british government accused of going back on old deals while they try to work on a new one. vicki young, bbc news, westminster. the south african runner caster semenya has lost her appeal at switzerland's federal supreme court against the restriction of testosterone levels in female runners. this means that unless the olympic 800m champion complies with the ruling and takes hormone—suppressing drugs, she will not be able to defend her title in tokyo next year. semenya has said she was disappointed with the decision. joining me live from new south wales is morgan carpenter, he's the co—executive director of intersex human rights australia and is an intersex man assigned male at birth. there is a very big question here, of course, a big part of
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theissue here, of course, a big part of the issue of whether gender is fixed at birth or whether people should have the right to self identify in all walks of life including sport. i don't believe that's the issue in thisjudgement. caster semenya was observed female at birth and all she is asking for is the right to be accepted, like alice, that woman assigned female at birth and she is a being asked to compete on the basis of the natural gifts. and what is the current issue? it was always a long shot. the swiss federal court is only a very narrow remit and it's not able to assess many of the implications of the previous judgement, and i think they are ones that need to be contested. the swiss court has not been able to give up retention to
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very serious human rights issues that are at stake here andi issues that are at stake here and i think we can see that in its statement, that a considerable interference with physical integrity is somehow acceptable. i think that's very dangerous for many people. acceptable. i think that's very dangerous for many peoplem you were speaking directly say to athletes who have to compete against her, how would you defend those human rights issues, how would you define them? caster semenya is a woman, she was observed as female birth, i don't believe she should be forced to undergo medical intervention to be treated as the woman she has a lwa ys treated as the woman she has always been. and you know, i respect that every 0lympic athlete, every elite athlete wa nts to athlete, every elite athlete wants to win, they want to take every legal avenue possible to maximise their chances of winning andi maximise their chances of winning and i respect that drive but all elite athletes are exceptional, they all have
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natural gifts and different athletes have different biological traits that are exceptional. if you put a basket all in a shotput event oran basket all in a shotput event or an archer basket all in a shotput event oran archer in basket all in a shotput event or an archer in a basketball event, you will find they are not interchangeable. they each have specific strengths and talents and people in some ways self—selected for the events they are most suited for and i don't see caster semenya ‘s in any way different to that. you could argue, though, that competitive sport is an artificial construct in itself, we dictate all kinds of things about who can compete and how they can compete, what rules they can compete, what rules they have to be under. if you go for that, you submit to those rules. i think that's fair. dog barks. sorry about the dog. the dog has another opinion on this. sport is an artificial construct but as we
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are saying here, as the court has done, if caster semenya com petes has done, if caster semenya competes in some events, she has to undergo medical intervention but in other events, she doesn't but that kind of illustrates just how artificial these constructs are andi artificial these constructs are and i think we should be far more concerned about opening the gate to permit considerable interference with physical integrity. i think that is far more significant here than the other issues that have been raised. just briefly, then we will let you continue your conversation with the dog in a moment. do you think this is the end of this rather more court avenues to pursue? as i understand it, caster semenya and her team understand it, caster semenya and herteam are understand it, caster semenya and her team are investigating all possible avenues for further action. it's worth saying that there are many other actions taking place and that have gone on in recent yea rs that have gone on in recent
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years so that have gone on in recent years so at the same time, the court action, there has also been a very significant statement published by the united nations high commissionerfor united nations high commissioner for human rights on these issues. and that really does draw attention to the human rights issues at sta ke. the human rights issues at stake. i really hope that caster semenya finds an avenue to make sure her rights are respected. good to talk to you, thank you very much. keeping up with the kardashians, one of america's biggest reality shows, is set to end in 2021 after running for 14 years. he show focused on kim kardashian west and her sisters, kourtney, khloe, kendall and kylie. it turned them all into major stars, with worldwide followings and millions in the bank. critics often targeted the show for being bland, but fans said it was a guilty pleasure. much more on the bbc website
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and on our twitter feeds. much more on the bbc website and on our twitterfeeds. you very much for watching. hello. it'll be a fairly mild start to wednesday across most parts of the british isles but some of you will have to wait before we get skies like that, particularly in england and wales where you are close by this weather front, won't have an awful lot of rain on it but there will be a fair amount of cloud. that takes the time to pull its way a little bit further towards the south. from the word go, scotland and northern ireland and the far north of england drier and brighter perhaps, some showers is coming through on a breeze. elsewhere, we're in for a pretty dry day. eventually, we break up the cloud in the south and the rain really dies away. while the humid is still across the south—eastern quarter, elsewhere, temperatures mid—teens to about 20 degrees. through the evening, we drag the last of that cloud away towards the near continent, and it's that time of the year where the nights
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are a wee bit longer and the skies are clear. somewhere on the eastern side of both scotland and england it'll get down to 3 or 4 degrees. a cool start to thursday, but it's shaping up to be a decent day for many parts of the british isles, certainly to start with a ridge of high pressure just nosing in from the atlantic. but no disguising the fact that a little bit further to the north and west, and closing on the northwest of the british isles, eventually there will be enough cloud to rob you of your sunshine in northern ireland, maybe a passing shower, and more on the way of wet weather into the northern and north—western parts of scotland. and the temperatures are not just as high after that chilly start as they will have been in the first part of the week. that weather front gradually works its way in across the northern part of the british isles in the first part of friday, and then staggers its way a wee bit further south, weakening all the while but before it does that, it will deliver a good bit of rain into scotland and northern ireland and eventually it gets across the border. so further south, a dry enough
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day, a top temperature of about 20, 21, things turning a wee bit more showery and breezy across the north—west of scotland to finish out the day. that is the way you start the weekend in that neck of the woods. notice the number of isobars. so really quite windy through the north and western isles, the north of scotland too. high pressure trying to dominate many areas but it doesn't keep the fronts at bay from the north and west of scotland, hence the forecast for oban, but elsewhere, a lot of dry and fine weather with some sunshine.
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this is bbc news — the headlines:
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the entire senior police leadership for the city of rochester in new york state has resigned in the aftermath of the death of a black man in custody. they've been under intense scrutiny since news of the death of daniel prude became public last week, sparking protests. strong winds have fanned wildfires burning out of control across the west coast of the united states. in washington state — emergency services are combing through the small town of malden which has been almost completely destroyed by the flames. in california — about 14,000 firefighters are battling 25 blazes. it's reported that one of the leading opposition figures in belarus, maria kolesnikova, has prevented officials deporting her to neighbouring ukraine by ripping up her passport on the border and throwing it out the window of an official car. colleagues say she then jumped out the back of the car. it's not clear where she is now.

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